© 2020 WFIT
Public Radio for the Space Coast
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Brevard Public Schools Educate Citizens About Half Cent Sales Surtax

SurtaxRenewalBanner2020.jpg

BPS Launches Web Page to Educate Community on Sales Surtax Renewal Ahead of November 3rd Election

Brevard Public Schools launched a public web page that will serve as a central place for citizens to access information on the county half-cent sales surtax up for renewal this election cycle. The current surtax passed by voters in 2014 will sunset on December 31, 2020. An option to extend the surtax will be on the November 3rd ballot.

The web page, www.Brevardschools.org/SurtaxRenewal, houses historical data on the current 2014 surtax, along with an informational “tool-kit” with easy to reference materials. Visitors will find a school-by-school breakdown of work that has been accomplished since 2015, and proposed projects should the surtax be extended. Also included is an informational video presentation by Superintendent Mark Mullins.

Significant progress has been made over the past six years to address the $757 million in critical projects identified in a 2014 district-wide needs assessment. More than $200 million has funded failed or failing infrastructure such as air conditioning, outdated technology and security needs. However, with more than half of Brevard’s schools at 50 years or older, the need for sustainable progress remains vital in delivering a safe and high quality educational experience to the district’s more than 70,000 students.

“Six years ago, we were facing the reality of significantly deteriorating schools, and while we’ve made considerable progress in ensuring critical infrastructure, responding to our technology needs, and recognizing and addressing post-Parkland security necessities, critical needs remain throughout our aging district,” said Dr. Mullins. “Our community has an important decision to make this November in consideration of our public school system. I strongly encourage our families and Brevard County residents to get informed on the surtax and the importance of its renewal for our kids and our future.”

A renewal of the current surtax would not collect any additional monies from those spending on taxable items in Brevard County, but would continue the current half-cent sales surtax through 2026. Critical school needs remaining include over $66 million in roof renewal, $32 million for plumbing and electrical systems and $36 million for expansion of school security upgrades.

“One item on this November’s ballot with the greatest importance to voters in our community is the extension of the half-cent sales surtax for BPS,” said Michael Ayers, President & CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce. “High quality schools help attract businesses and residents to the Space Coast and encourage those already here to stay, and there is a tremendous need to update our school infrastructure.”For an average household income of $50,000, making the assumption that 10% of that income would be spent on discretionary items that have the surtax assessed against it (things like clothing items, going out to eat, electronics), that would translate to about a $25 annual investment.

To educate yourself and your community on the renewal of the half-cent sales surtax, visit https://www.brevardschools.org/SurtaxRenewal.